Heart Health – 3 Ingredients to Avoid
- Trans fats – This truly toxic man-made fat provides a quadruple insult to your arteries – clogging them more readily than any other food ever identified. Trans fats boost LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, elevate triglycerides, and incite damaging inflammation in your arteries. Strictly avoid them by staying away from stick margarine, shortening, and processed foods that list “partially hydrogenated oil” in their ingredients list.
- Sugar – Sugars can harm the health of your arteries through at least six different ways! Too much sugar can: drive up your blood pressure, lower your HDL (good) cholesterol, drive up your triglycerides, increase inflammation in your arteries and, drive up levels of the very dangerous small, dense LDL (bad) cholesterol particles. To avoid this huge insult to your arteries, keep your sugar intake to “heart-safe” levels. For men – limit your sugar intake to less than 150 calories (that is 9 teaspoons) a day. For women – limit to less than 100 calories (that is 6 teaspoons) a day. The average American gets 18-23 teaspoons of added sugars in their diet each day!!
- Salt – Too much salt boosts blood pressure (a major cause of heart attacks and strokes) and is directly toxic to the all-important endothelial cells that line our arteries and orchestrate normal blood flow. Currently, 88% of Americans exceed the recommended intake of sodium (2,300 mg/day). For high risk populations – those over 50, African Americans, those with high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease – a whopping 99% consume more than the recommended 1,500 mg a day. To reduce your salt intake minimize dining out (especially on fast food) and restrict the following foods: processed foods (especially processed meats), canned soups, bottled salad dressings, condiments, luncheon meats, and salty snack foods. These are the foods highest in sodium.
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